Professional hugs provide VIRTUAL services during the pandemic

Many people crave a little more human contact these days, singles and those who live far from their families in particular experience prolonged periods of no physical closeness to others.

In the past, these people may have turned to professional hugging services for a dose of physical affection, frequenting businesses like the Cuddle Sanctuary in Los Angeles or Cuddle Up To Me in Portland for platonic touches and the well-being of oxytocin. he can provide.

But with social distancing keeping people at arm’s length – or, more literally, six feet long – The Guardian reports that professional hugs had to get creative to help clients during the pandemic.

Snuggle up! Trained hugs offer fully clothed, non-sexual physical contact, including hugs and petting – but sessions have been canceled during the pandemic (stock image)

Professional hugs became popular in the early 2000s for people looking for the comfort that non-sexual physical touch can offer.

Cuddling releases the hormone oxytocin, called the “cuddle chemical,” and can relieve stress and anxiety, promote calm and psychological stability, and even reduce cravings.

It has also been shown to ward off feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety disorders. It can be particularly useful for people with PTSD or adults with autism

Pretend: Jean Franzblau, the founder of LA hug sanctuary, is one of many professional hugs to offer virtual sessions

Pretend: Jean Franzblau, the founder of LA hug sanctuary, is one of many professional hugs to offer virtual sessions

Unfortunately, at a time when more and more people are depriving themselves of these benefits due to the pandemic, it has become impossible for professional hugs to function as they once did.

Jean Franzblau, the founder of LA’s Cuddle Sanctuary, told the Guardian she tried to stay open for business almost as usual as the pandemic began to spread rapidly in the United States in March.

Initially, she implemented new rules, such as asking customers to wash their hands and stay home if they were sick. But almost immediately it became clear that these measures were not enough.

“We implemented this for two events, a Wednesday and a Saturday. And then we were closed, ”said Franzblau. “It was so quick: here is our new protocol and then our protocol is that we are closed. It was very intense and very dramatic.

It took him a while to figure out the idea of ​​“virtual hugs”. At first, she didn’t want to bother, convinced that the sessions would be pointless without the all-important element of skin-to-skin contact.

“I was very reluctant to offer something that I thought was worthless or looked like snake oil,” she said.

But with the pandemic likely to spread for a long time, she has found a way to make it work.

It’s definitely different from a traditional private cuddle session, which costs $ 80 to $ 100 an hour. During these, a hug and a client will meet in a private room and discuss stressors and needs before the hugs begin.

This hug – which is non-sexual and fully clothed – can include hugs, hugs, and hugs.

In a virtual session, the hug and the client are both at home, connected by video chat from their home. They will still discuss stressors and needs, but then clients will learn how to cuddle effectively.

A client can be told to remember a time when they were cuddled and then position themselves in a way that stimulates the same feelings while visualizing that the touch belongs to someone else.

A client who participated in a virtual hugging session, Randy Wade Kelley, 37, of New York City, said the experience had paid off.

He described the feeling after the fact as if he had mediated for a week, and he said he continued to return to the soothing hugging position he tried in the session every time he felt lonely. I am alone

“There is no substitute for human touch, but it certainly helps bridge the gap. I’m so grateful that I can hug myself, ”he said.

Madelon Guinazzo, who co-founded the Cuddlist hug network, also admitted that it’s not really the same as getting the real deal – but it will be fine in a pinch.

“It’s like when you used to eat your favorite food, let’s say lasagna, and then someone says here is a substitute for lasagna. It’s good as long as you expect it doesn’t taste like lasagna, ”he said.

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Virtual and interactive magic show to raise funds for a charity July 29 | Hamilton Post

A virtual and interactive magic show sponsored by the Robbinsville Hamilton Rotary Club will air on July 29, with proceeds going to the Hamilton Area YMCA and COVID-19 Relief.

The charity show “Mercer’s Got Magic” will feature magicians, illusionists and mind readers from popular television shows such as “America’s Got Talent” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”.

America’s Got Talent magician Derek Hughes joins other performers for a virtual charity show on July 29th.

Performances will include acts by Derek Hughes from “America’s Got Talent”, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “The Carbonaro Effect” and Ben Seidman from “Penn & Teller: Fool Us”, “Brainchild: A Netflix Original” and “Criss Angel: Mindfreak Special host and magician Tom Pesce will also be part of the evening’s entertainment.

Attendees can watch the family show via Live Stream on a TV, computer or other electronic device. When purchasing the ticket, a private link will be emailed to the buyer. “Mercer’s Got Magic” is suitable for all ages.

Tickets are available until July 29 at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show. Ticket prices start at $ 25 per household. “Deluxe Entrance” is priced at $ 30 per household and brings the household into a pool of potential on-camera volunteers who will be randomly selected to participate in the show. A “VIP Package” option is available for $ 50 per household. In addition to entering the foyer in the pool for on-camera participation, this package provides access to an exclusive educational magic stream from the show’s lineup of magicians, immediately following “Mercer’s Got Magic.”

Proceeds will go to the Hamilton Area YMCA, COVID-19 Relief and other Rotary charities. The Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton is a 501 (c) 3 organization. Any additional donation is tax deductible.

To learn more and purchase tickets, visit

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“Maddie on a mission” Virtual Interactive Read-A-Loud


Grab your kids and the popcorn and join author / illustrator Sharon Jones-Scaife and The Innovative Learners on Sunday July 26e for virtual interactive reading. Author Sharon Jones-Scaife will be reading “live” on Instagram and Facebook from her latest book, “Maddie on a Mission”.

We will also have interactive activities, freebies and a question and answer session.

Maddie is disappointed that she can’t go to school until she learns the reason why… a germ passes from person to person. Maddie must do her part to stop the germ from spreading. But how? And how are his friends going to help him? Follow Maddie on a germ control mission.

Tune in on Sunday.
5:00 p.m. CST on Instagram @theinnovativelearners
5:30 p.m. CST on FaceBook @ sharon.jonesscaife

Maddie on a Mission is available in print and ebook versions online at and at online retailers: Amazon, Walmart, Target Barnes and Noble and more.

Read-A-Loud presented by The Innovative Learners.

About the co-author
Sharon Jones-Scaife grew up in Marvell, Arkansas, the fourth of 15 children. As you can imagine, she spent a lot of time reading to her younger siblings. She graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a BA in Graphic Design and Illustration. Sharon Jones-Scaife is the editor of Graffiti teens, a magazine that serves as a voice for adolescents and a medium of communication, allowing adolescents to express their opinions, concerns and ideas through poetry, essays, articles and photographs. Sharon Jones-Scaife is also the author of I miss you Daddy, Mrs. Hughes is gone, it’s bedtime Lil ‘Marco, and To become, a collection of poems and original illustrations. A resident of Sachse, TX, Sharon Jones-Scaife spends her time supporting her son in basketball, creating adventures with his grandchildren, running, biking, writing and of course reading. Sharon Jones-Scaife is available for media interviews and can be contacted using the information below or by emailing [email protected] More information is available on its website at

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Virtual services on the rise as families plan funerals during pandemic

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – With social distancing in place and limits on out-of-state travel, some funeral homes are turning to virtual services for lost loved ones. For French funerals and cremations, virtual services began as a way to connect people across the country and the world who might not be able to travel.

“We just installed this capability a few months before taking on this challenge with the goal of connecting people from across the country and around the world who might not be able to travel to attend a funeral or celebration of the life. ”Said Jonathan Dyck, general manager of French funerals and cremations. “We didn’t know it was going to be used that way, but it’s becoming more and more part of how we serve families. “

As New Mexico continues to place limits on group gatherings, state funeral homes are now offering these services live. They say it is an option for grieving families to continue to reunite.

“It allowed more people to be present, albeit virtually, as we remember those people,” Dyck said. “I would say the majority of the services and celebrations we perform are being broadcast simultaneously through our web feed.”

Riverside Funeral Homes are also seeing a demand for live streaming services. So much so, they say, that they’re on a waiting list for the technology to be installed.

“There are so many people out there who want to do this stuff,” said Charles Finegan, funeral director and owner of Riverside Funeral Homes. “Now we’re still in the queue to get it.”

On the other hand, some providers like Funeral and cremation of the Daniels family say many customers are pulling out of the virtual world and opting for traditional ceremonies. Some of the changes made so far include creating groups of five at a time, holding rosaries in the open air, and even broadcasting services through car radios.

“Even though we came up with non-traditional means like webcasting etc, most people were very traditional and wanted to come,” said Mike Watkins, vice president of operations for Daniels Family Funerals and Cremation. “We bought FM transmitters so the minister could wear a microphone and we could tell people to sit in their cars and which radio station to turn to.”

Local funeral professionals hope families will be able to embrace these changes. They say patience is the greatest need during the pandemic.

“It doesn’t limit their ability to honor the life of their loved one,” Watkins said. “It is not only to honor a deceased person, but it is also to provide support to the family.”

“We have obstacles, but a little patience and we will overcome them,” said Finegan. “The pandemic has definitely opened the door to a whole new way of doing business for everyone. “

While a lack of connection can be difficult for the grieving process, local providers say they will help families bridge this gap. French Funerals says people have submitted their favorite memorabilia to read during the services.

“It’s far from ideal in many ways. The heartbreak and the healing that is really a big part of holding a funeral or memorial is the embrace of the people you love, the handshakes, the connections, ”Dyck said. “What we’ve tried to do is really think outside the box and connect people beyond just looking at the screen, providing memories to read or thoughts to share from Aunt Martha watching to. home in Ohio. “

Providers of funeral services and celebrations of life on the Albuquerque Metro encourage anyone facing the loss of a loved one to contact their funeral professional to offer options for connecting friends and family and not to give up. The CDC has also posted a guideline for anyone experiencing bereavement and where to start in planning a service during the pandemic.

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PA CareerLink Chester County Expands Virtual Services for Job Seekers and Businesses – Daily Local

EXTON – PA CareerLink Chester County is expanding virtual services provided to job seekers and employers and will offer limited on-site services by appointment only starting July 6.

PA CareerLink Chester County has been providing essential virtual services to job seekers and employers since mid-March, when statewide mitigation efforts began to slow the spread of COVID-19. Going green for COVID-19 allows some services to resume at PA CareerLink Chester County offices at 479 Thomas Jones Way in Exton.

“We strongly encourage clients to continue to use our virtual services, which include career counseling, job search and recovery assistance, and on-the-job training programs,” said Butch Urban, PA CareerLink Chester County Site Administrator. “But we are also now accepting appointments for limited on-site services, including using the Computer Resource Center (CRC) for job search purposes, completing paperwork for IT programs. Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) and on-site educational assessments. “

To schedule an appointment for limited on-site services and other information, please contact PA CareerLink Chester County at 610-280-1010 between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

Specifically, PA CareerLink Chester County’s extended services include:

Virtual services

* Adult education courses

* All employer services

* Professional guidance

* Determination of eligibility for Workforce Innovation programs and services

* Job search assistance

* On-the-job training programs

* Recovery assistance

* Virtual workshops

* Youth programming and work preparation services

Limited on-site services (by appointment only)

* Copy and fax of documents for the Unemployment Benefit Office (UC)

* Employer services

* Meet with individual clients to complete program documents for Workforce Innovation Programs

* On-site educational evaluation

* Use of PA CareerLink resource room for job search activity

To protect the health and safety of all visitors and staff at PA CareerLink Chester County offices, and to continue to follow social distancing and COVID-19 mitigation recommendations, the Compensation Courtesy Phones of the Unemployment (UC) will not be available at the PA CareerLink offices.

* For regular UC questions:

* Email [email protected]

* Call 888-313-7284 Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

* LiveChat (call 888-313-7284 for a secure 6-digit code) Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* For questions about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA):

* Email [email protected]

* Call 855-284-8545 Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The PA CareerLink Chester County system is the one stop shop for job seekers and employers in Chester County. Further information about our services, including information on local employment opportunities, is available on our website at

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